by nathan oster
Greybull’s former public works director was arrested Friday on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of larceny by bailee (public servant), some dating back as far as 2007.
Randy Rumpler, 52, made his initial appearance in court Monday. He sat quietly while Judge Randy Royal read the particulars of the charges against him, all of which stem from a months-long investigation conducted by members of the Greybull Police Department and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.
Rumpler is charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts, and in court Monday, he entered a plea of not guilty to the misdemeanor charges.
Royal set a $10,000 signature bond for Rumpler and scheduled the preliminary hearing on the two felony counts for Monday, Feb. 13, although all parties agreed that the proceeding would likely be continued to a later date.
The Greybull Town Council fired Rumpler in November. At the time, it followed the recommendation of Mayor Frank Houk, who in a subsequent interview alleged that Rumpler had converted assets of the town for personal purposes.
The specifics of those allegations are spelled out in the Affidavit of Probable Cause, which was filed with the court on Feb. 3, the day Rumpler was arrested at his home in the 300 block of Ninth Avenue North.
All four of the charges against Rumpler fall under the header of “larceny by bailee.”
Wyoming statute provides that “a bailee, a public servant or any person entrusted with the control, care or custody of any money or any other property who, with intent to steal or to deprive the owner of the property, converts the property to his own or another’s use” is guilty of larceny.
The dollar amount of the items alleged to have been converted is what determines whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor. If the value of the property is more than $1,000, it is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
If the value is less than $1,000, it’s a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750, or both.
The first felony count against Rumpler alleges that on or about Oct. 23, 2010, he sold 65 pounds of stainless steel, 760 pounds of yellow brass and 260 pounds of copper belonging to the town to Pacific Steel and Recycling.
The value of those items was set at $1,514.50.
The second felony count alleges that on or about June 6, 2007, Rumpler purchased a 6.5 horsepower industrial generator for the town, then took the generator to his own residence for his own use.
He later allegedly traded that generator, valued at more than $1,000, to another town employee, Mike Packer, for a smaller generator that Packer had purchased from Greybull Building Center. The affidavit further alleges that Rumpler had GBC change the invoice from Packer’s name and had it billed to the town.
The first of the two misdemeanor counts against Rumpler alleges that on or about July 1, 2011, he sold 230 pounds of yellow brass and 72 pounds of copper belonging to the town and totaling $491.90, to Pacific Steel and Recycling, and did so in his own name and not as a public employee.
The second misdemeanor count alleges that on or between May/June of 2009 and the spring of 2011, he took leftover wood flooring that was purchased by the town for installation at the Herb Asp Community Center and installed some of it in the dining room of his residence. He also allegedly traded two boxes of the wood flooring to Bill Roady for two bags of reloading shot.
The affidavit further alleges that Rumpler purchased supplies for his side business of fixing chainsaws with his Town of Greybull credit card. The items were purchased at Greybull Building Center, and Rumpler has since returned them, according to the document.
The affidavit describes how a tip from a local resident who knew Rumpler and had concerns about him “taking advantage of his position” led authorities to launch the investigation.
According to court documents, Rumpler told the tipster in the fall of 2010 that he planned to take a pile of brass to Billings to sell because the city did not do anything with it. A short time later, Rumpler allegedly told him that he had sold the brass and used the money to buy things and pay off some bills.
Rumper allegedly made comments to this person that he felt the town “owed” him because he was a salaried employee and worked a lot of overtime and was not compensated for that time.
As part of the investigation, DCI agent Juliet Vibe interviewed Greybull Recreation District Director Chris Waite last December about the wood flooring that would become central to one of the two misdemeanors against Rumpler.
Sometime during the winter of 2008 or spring of 2009, Rumpler measured the bathrooms and roller rink storage area for new flooring.
That flooring was installed in May/June of 2009 by the Rocky Mountain Work and Witness team, which came to the community and volunteered its time on various projects.
Waite recalled that there were “five to six” boxes of flooring leftover, and that those boxes sat at the Community Hall for quite some time before Rumpler sent a town employee over to retrieve them.
In the spring of 2011, when the recreation district was planning to put new flooring in the front entrance to the skating rink, Waite contacted Rumpler to see if the leftover flooring was still available.
Rumpler allegedly informed him that it had been used and there wasn’t any left. Waite proceeded to order additional flooring for the entryway.
The wood flooring that allegedly was not used in Rumpler’s home was later traded to Bill Roady in exchange for two bags of reloading shot. Roady insisted to Agent Vibe that he did not know how Rumpler had come to acquire the flooring.
John Frentheway, the deputy Big Horn County attorney, told Judge Royal that he did not believe Rumpler was a flight risk and would appear in court to answer to the charges against him.
Rumpler’s attorney, Adam Sisk of Cody, agreed, saying that Rumpler was aware “for quite some time” of the potential for charges to be brought against him, and that there was “absolutely no risk” that he would leave and not return to court.
“He has already spent three nights in jail, and he knows the consequences of not coming back,” said Sisk. “Plus he has no criminal history.”
Sisk asked that Rumpler be released on his own recognizance, and while in agreement that he wasn’t a flight risk, Royal still opted to set bond at $10,000.
On a related note, Rumpler has filed an appeal of the town’s decision to terminate him and the hearing on that matter has been scheduled for early March at Town Hall.
Rumpler was a town employee for nearly 25 years, dating back to his hiring in June of 1987. He became public works director in June of 2007, when he replaced Ron Vanderpool.